Hunting Licenses Available
Inside the Outdoors, June 25, 2010

It didn’t take long shortly after many of the fishing seasons began for The Pennsylvania Game Commission to announce that hunting and furtaker licenses became available for purchase as of June 14th. These permits will allow hunters to take game during the 2010/ 2011 seasons.

Licenses will be available through the Game Commission’s Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS), over-the-counter at all Game Commission region offices and the Harrisburg headquarters, as well as the more than 600 in-state and out-of-state issuing agents. One can also get licenses by logging on to the Commission’s website: www.pa.wildlifelicense.com.

There is good news and bad news concerning cost. It is true, the license fee will remain the same since 1999, however due to incorporating PALS as part of the process, there is a 70-cent transaction fee attached to the purchase of each license and permit which is paid directly to Automated License System, the Nashville-based company that runs PALS.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission initially used this system. Since its introduction, it has cut out paper applications, and according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director, “PALS enabled the Game Commission to modernize the licensing system and improve security.”

Introductions of something new seem to be a tradition annually, whether it is with the PFBC or the PGC. Pertaining to the latter, there will be the rotation of up to 10 random survey questions of which a license buyer may be asked one question that requires a positive, negative, or no response. Additional survey questions may be asked of specific constituents based upon the license privileges they purchase, the PGC pointed out.

Roe also noted, “As originally envisioned by the U.S. Congress and the Pennsylvania General Assembly, PALS now will enable the agency to suspend issuing licenses to those, who through court order, have had their hunting licenses revoked for failure to pay child support.”

He also reminded hunters that, under the state law, only Pennsylvania County Treasurers may issue antlerless deer licenses. However, thanks to PALS, county treasurers may now issue an antlerless deer license for any Wildlife Management Unit, so long as its allocation isn’t sold out.

Applications for the regular round of antlerless deer licenses for residents begin July 12, and nonresidents can apply beginning July 26. An antlerless license application will be printed with every general license purchased, and an application also will be available in the 2010-11 Hunting and trapping Digest for the first and second round of unsold antlerless deer licenses. Except for WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, hunters may only apply for one license during each application period.

Turning to other subjects, anglers are catching some nice-sized fish on the lower Loyalhanna. As one fellow put it, “That Loyalhanna is packed with fish.” I never heard that term used in relation to a waterway, but I think you get the message. One mother told me she isn’t doing that well at Keystone, but her son is catching fish in the lower sections of the Loyalhanna. Another person told me about an 18-incher (approximately figured), believed to be a rainbow trout, that he got, was reeled to shore, but got off of the hook as the fish was in the process of being handled for landing purposes. That ought to tell people something about the stream that goes through town.

Finally, Keystone State Park has tremendous programs lined up for summer enjoyment. If you like the outdoors, I recommend you call 724-668-2939. The Latrobe Bulletin regularly publishes the Park events. If you missed them, I recommend making the call. It may be one of the best things you’ll do this summer.

By the way, if you have missed any of my Inside the Outdoor columns, log onto www.greaterlatrobe.com and read to your heart’s content. Please feel free to email me with any comments or discoveries you may have made that you’d like to share with me.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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